Delta county athletes set four records Saturday at the annual Frank Woodburn Invitational track and field meet in Grand Junction .
Cedaredge's Reid Gates cleared 6 feet, 8 inches, to claim the meet high jump record, and sailed 21 feet, 9 and a quarter inches to reset the record in the long jump. Teammate Austin Williams fell short of a meet record in the shot put, but jumped to the top of the 3A state rankings in the event with a winning throw of 51 feet, 2 inches.
Hotchkiss's Jenni Celis claimed the meet record in the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 14.75 seconds. Her record-setting time is also the best in the state in all classes this season, and the 27th best time in the nation in high school competition. Celis already held the meet record in the 400.
Paonia sophomore Morgan Hartigan ensured a return trip to state in the shot put with a record-breaking throw of 38 feet, 2 and a quarter inches. The Paonia girls took the gold in four events and scored 109 points to win the women's team title.
We're at the midway point in the baseball season. Montrose remains undefeated and in first place in 5A/4A Southwestern League standings. They host Montezuma Cortez at 4 p.m. tomorrow, and Durango on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Delta is 8 and 2 overall and 4 and 1 in Western Slope league standings following a 21-7 win Tuesday over Steamboat Springs. Game two of that doubleheader was postponed due to weather. The Panthers host Eagle Valley today at 4 p.m.
In 2A Western Slope League action, Hotchkiss is now 4-2 after sweeping a doubleheader Saturday against Rangely. Devan Rupe was 2 for 4 with two RBIS and a triple in the Bulldogs' 10-2 win in game one, and Russ Evans was 3 for 5 with three RBIs in their 14-4 win in game two. Hotchkiss held Rangely to four hits for the series.
Paonia remains undefeated in the WSL after sweeping a twin bill over Meeker Saturday. Tyler Kendall hit a solo homerun and Joel Simianer drove in a walk-off grand slam homer in the Eagles' 14-4 win in game two.
Paonia and Hotchkiss will play the second of two league doubleheaders this Saturday at Hotchkiss, starting at 11.
Paonia also won two conference games on March 30 over Rangely. It was a special day for seventh-grade baseball player Slater Podgorny, who warmed up with the Eagles, threw the opening pitch and was the team bat boy. For Slater, the day was about more than baseball. "It's a fund-raiser to support my dad, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease a few years ago, so, yea, " he said.
Greg Podgorny is well-known for his wit, sense of humor, and knowledge of rock 'n' roll. He's also a former college baseball player in his home state of Illinois. Greg coached Slater's little league teams for many years, including the TC Drillers and the North Fork Eagles Triple Crown teams. Slater was short stop and second baseman on both teams. Greg Podgorny is no longer able to coach, but he still goes to all of Slater's games.
Paonia High School teachers Tracy Campbell and Gingy Molacek helped put the fundraiser together. Molacek explains how the event came about. "It really started with the teachers sitting at lunch," she said. "And I was talking to Mr. Potter, who is our baseball coach and our social studies teacher... He had just met Slater, who is Greg's son, and you know, I was telling him what a great baseball player Slater was, and Potter really came up with the idea, like, hey, we should do a fundraiser."
Between gate fees, a bake sale and a bean bag toss, the event raised $1,230 dollars for the Podgorny family, which will go toward medical expenses not covered by insurance. The Kids' Pasta Project will host a fundraiser silent auction and dinner for the family on May 27 at Scenic Mesa Ranch. For details and to learn more about the Podgorny family, visit gregpodgorny.org.